Sunday Sermon [The Witness]

Hola mi gente,
Hardest thing in the whole world: try getting a place to live in New York City. Wow… I’m off to meet with someone in my quest for a place to live.

05-22-16_ Sunday Sermon [The Witness]

The Witness

 

Today I’m going to try to offer something of practical value. After reading this, you’ll be able to use it (or not) and perhaps effect some change…

Too often external factors have such a huge impact on our lives. Someone steps on your toes, or looks at you in a certain way, or cuts you off on the highway, and that just sends you over the edge. Even something as simple (and beyond our control) as the weather affects our perception and how we feel. It’s all so random, it seems…

… Or is it? Hmmmmm….

Imagine, if you can, that you are mangled in a car accident. Your body is crushed amidst tangled, jagged metal and you are lying in a pool of blood.

Now, imagine sleeping in a large, comfortable bed. Switch back to being mangled in a car accident. The difference you feel is made from the same thoughts that create your personal suffering.

Confused? What does this mean? How do you discover the cause of your suffering and the source of genuine happiness? And, what the fuck does this have to do with being mangled and beds?

LOL! Bear with me and try the following and see if you get any answers:

Go between the two feelings: relaxed, lying in a big comfortable bed/ mangled, lying in a pool of blood. Picture each, feel both, then one and then the other. Mangled body — soft bed.

Now, pay attention because this is the important part. Feel the “who” that can feel both images, and relax as that “who” now.

You — the real you — are this capacity to witness.

The images are merely objects for your attention. The true you is the awareness of being aware. Your genuine self is the feeling-awareness that notices the movement of attention between the images. I call this The Witness, others call it witness consciousness. Different spiritual traditions have different names for this awareness of awareness, but they all point to the same thing, regardless of the terminology.

You are the space where the pictures happen, where attention moves between a mangled body and a soft bed. The imagery changes but the feeling-awareness — who you are — always maintains this openness to feel. Awakening to your true self is being able to relax into this capacity to feel, whatever picture is happening now. If you can develop this awareness into a freedom to feel, no matter what is happening, you become free to act as love.

If you forget this openness of feeling even for a second, then you become trapped again. The inconsiderate driver, the discourteous interaction, the real and imagined insults, all will have power over you again. You will go around life renting this precious space to other people — many who are strangers and insignificant. If you can learn to remember this essential openness, who you are, you begin to discover that love acts spontaneously, unfettered by the present picture of your life.

But don’t take my word for this. Discover what is true for yourself when you do this exercise. See if you change with the picture, or if you are this open awareness where the picture happens, the openness who feels what happens.

Test it now. Mangled body/ soft bed. The images have changed, but in what space does the light of your imagination shine? Is this feeling-awareness any different? Are you aware of your awareness?

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

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